e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

The Procedural Fairness Limitations of Fitness to Practise Hearings: a case study into social work

Kirkham, Richard and Leigh, Jadwiga and McLaughlin, Kenneth and Worsley, Aidan (2019) The Procedural Fairness Limitations of Fitness to Practise Hearings: a case study into social work. Legal Studies, 39 (2). pp. 339-357. ISSN 0261-3875

[img]
Preview

Download (542kB) | Preview

Abstract

The norm in fitness to practise proceedings (FTPP) is that where sanctions might be imposed procedural fairness requires a court-like hearing. This article questions that paradigm, using empirical research to focus on the FTPP to which social workers must account. Procedural fairness is a multi-faceted legitimising concept used to justify the design of decision-making processes. With FTPPs, the major justification is an ‘instrumentally’ focused model of procedural fairness which prioritises making decisions that look right, a goal which is delivered in the context of social work. But other justifications for procedural fairness are inadequately fulfilled, with in particular a ‘dignitarian’ respect not achieved due to the high levels of non-attendance by registrant social workers. Further, procedural fairness as ‘public accountability’ is undermined due to the relative lack of engagement of FTPPs with the perspective of the social work community. These findings hint that in the context of a poorly organised and resource-poor profession other hybrid forms of FTPP might have a stronger claim to procedural fairness than the court-like model.

Impact and Reach

Statistics

Downloads
Activity Overview
70Downloads
151Hits

Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

Altmetric

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item